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Albrecht Dürer

The Apocalypse: The Vision of the Seven Candlesticks©

Albrecht Dürer (1471 – 1528) was the most influential artist of the Northern Renaissance. The son of a goldsmith, he set up his workshop in 1494 in his native Nuremberg. From here, he produced a wide variety of painted and printed works, from images of saints and Biblical stories to mythology, portraits and scenes of contemporary life.

Dürer was not only a brilliant artist, but also a very clever entrepreneur. He was the first artist fully to exploit the potential of prints – mainly engravings and woodcuts – which could be issued in multiple impressions, circulating his images widely and relatively cheaply. He spread his fame by initialling each with his distinctive AD monogram. By 1497, he was successful enough to employ an agent to handle his foreign print sales. The prints Dürer made were used as objects of devotion, pasted onto walls and into collectors’ albums, and purchased by artists to use as models in their own work.

In 1505, Dürer travelled to Venice to see the Italian Renaissance for himself. Dürer remained in Venice for over a year, making a number of paintings for the German merchant community, before returning to his workshop in Nuremberg, where he was mainly based until his death in 1528.

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